Scarlett Lewis started December 14th, 2012 like any other day- she kissed her son Jesse as he woke up. As always, Jesse, the fun-loving first grader was so excited to start the day. On his way to school, Jesse stopped to write, “I love you” in the frost Scarlett’s car.
Scarlett could never have imagined what would happen later day. A day that she and thousands of others will never forget.
Just hours later, Jesse was senselessly murdered in his first-grade classroom. He was one of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut
As a mother, I honestly can’t even comprehend what Scarlett and the other parents went through – and what they are still going through. No parent should ever have to lose a child.
There are people in this world who take the most horrific incidents in their lives and turn them into something else. Call it a mission or a purpose. But, I believe that they are put on this earth to do something that very few people can do.
Scarlett Lewis is one of them.
I was fortunate to meet Scarlett at her Sandy Hook, CT farmhouse for The Hustle interview with Jenna Jorge of Goodman Speakers.
Prior to meeting Scarlett, I was nervous about what to say. My heart hurt for her and I wasn’t sure if I could look her in the eye without crying. All I could think of is how does she get through the day? How is she so strong? And how did she find the strength to do what she is doing?
Well, this woman is stronger than any person I ever have met. Scarlett has found her strength in forgiveness.
She has turned the pain that she went through and had made it her mission to educate people throughout the world to choose love.
Weeks after Jesse’s murder, Scarlett immediately began researching the root causes of the sort of violence that killed her child. She became convinced that one thing that matters in these mass shootings is the inability of many children and teenagers is to manage their emotions and connect with others.
In 2015, Scarlett started Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, an organization that brings curriculum into schools to teach what’s called social and emotional learning.
We have had way too many schools and workplace shootings. Every time another one happens, we hear about gun control, arming guards, metal detectors, and who’s to blame.
But what we are not hearing about is what educators are doing to prevent these children from getting to a place where they want to harm others.
In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing more about Scarlett’s story and her mission in next episode of The Hustle.
In the meantime, I ask that you go to the Jesse Lewis Choose Love website to learn more.